An AI Company with Marketing Savvy

AcuityAds Inc.
Written by Jessica Ferlaino

AcuityAds Inc. was founded in 2009 and has quickly made its mark in the rapidly growing programmatic digital advertising space with its proprietary technology. The programmatic advertising market is expected to grow from $30 billion to $80 billion in North America by 2020…
“AcuityAds provides digital media insights and solutions that enable advertisers to connect intelligently with audiences across all formats and devices at scale. Its core offering is a programmatic advertising platform that utilizes artificial intelligence to drive more successful outcomes for marketers,” explained the VP of Self-Serve and Europe, Renzo DiPasquale. “AI is changing the world in many ways, and it has the potential to influence and transform practically every industry.”

Leading technology firm AcuityAds enables advertisers to connect intelligently with customers across digital channels. Advertisers can use the technology to create, launch and manage flexible, transparent and effective advertising campaigns that optimize brand and product awareness and produce unprecedented results.

Headquartered in Toronto with Sales offices across North America, including New York and Boston, AcuityAds is quickly making an impact with well-known businesses in a diverse cross-section of industries including retail, travel, automotive, business services, consumer packaged goods, education, financial services, food service, insurance and telecommunications.

Using its proprietary technology built on an AI foundation, as well as strategic partnerships with companies like Acxiom, its solutions help to improve digital advertising campaigns and enable marketers to connect with the right audience every time.

“Our AI technology leverages machine learning, which enables it to process billions of data points at a massive scale and speed so that we are better positioned to help marketers achieve their campaign objectives using programmatic technology. We believe our AI is next generation. Its industry-leading, and that’s one of our key differentiators in the market.”

AcuityAds’ proprietary machine learning technology uses publicly available data and tracks that content in real time across numerous platforms simultaneously to help marketers and their clients to optimize brand awareness and reach consumers like never before.

DiPasquale provided an example of a consumer who follows Nike and LeBron James. Based on the collected data, it is likely that basketball is another interest of the individual and so the consumer is expected to respond positively to a Nike advertisement that included both basketball and LeBron James.

“You get right into the fabric of social signals, and then you target your audiences accordingly,” DiPasquale said.

Understanding that creating relevant and targeted programmatic connections between brands and consumers is one of the greatest challenges in the market, AcuityAds has simplified the process using its proprietary technology to advertise to consumers with greater precision.

One of the keys to the Company’s success is the September 2016 acquisition of social signal audience targeting firm 140 Proof, a leader in social mobile solutions. By integrating the capability to better measure and understand social signals, it can more efficiently reach consumers with content that is shaped by their online activity. Ads target what they like and the trends they follow.

In March 2017, AcuityAds also acquired Visible Measures Corp. DiPasquale said. “Visible Measures is all about optimizing for audience attention instead of simply reach as an advertiser. We have found that you can use time spent with your media, with your videos, as a gauge to raise relevancy among your target audience because attention matters. The people paying attention are the ones who will continue using your brand and will promote your brand.”

AcuityAds, with the complementary expertise and specialized talents of 140 Proof and Visible Measures, has rounded out its capabilities to take video analytics, social data and programmatic technology to higher levels of success.

“We wanted to make sure that we could capture a more holistic brand positioning for the three companies into one message,” which is, “We trade in trust,” DiPasquale noted.

He explained what that means and why it is significant for its clients. “We did a lot of investigation in the market to understand from a customer perspective and a partner perspective the feedback, what is going on in our industry and what are the most relevant, salient points, and it circled back, and we were able to distil that down to trust and transparency,” he said.

“Working in the digital advertising industry is really focusing around trusting who you work with, trusting that your brand will be positioned correctly, trusting that there is transparency in the costs and the ad mix you run and where you want to place your ads is conducive to your brand. So that’s what we arrived on: We Trade In Trust.”

DiPasquale and the team at AcuityAds take great pride in the efficient integration of the three entities which enable it to go to market with a cohesive vision and approach. “That’s been a great outcome for Acuity, and because of the self-serve nature of the platform and the software as a service and cloud-based offering, we’re able to scale fairly quickly and more cost effectively.”

AcuityAds’ full-serve, self-serve or hybrid offerings have made it one of the fastest-growing technology companies in North America, and through its innovation it has transformed what is possible in programmatic advertising.

“From a flexible service offering perspective, that hasn’t changed. We still work with clients and meet them where they are, so if they want us to run the campaigns, we will run the campaigns and provide the reporting that they require. If they want to run it themselves and they have the competency and the expertise, then absolutely they can run it themselves with our self-serve model,” said DiPasquale.

“The beauty of it: we offer something in between called the hybrid model that offers the best of both worlds. It gets them up and running quickly so they can launch their campaigns, and as they learn, we move them down the path from a full-serve to a self-serve model.” This is a truly unique service in the digital advertising market.

AcuityAds also launched a new ultra-intuitive version of its programmatic platform in January 2017. This intuitive dashboard has full technical support and training built in. An accreditation program is in the works that will enable partners to become Acuity-authorized on the programmatic platform.

DiPasquale is, “excited about how well the messaging is being received in the marketplace,” providing AcuityAds the opportunity to take a greater percentage of the programmatic market.

“With our unique social data and our analytics-led video offering, coupled with our AI technology, we provide clients a powerful holistic solution, and we are now able to engage in expanded conversations with brands to capture a greater share of their digital advertising spend,” said DiPasquale.

It has built awareness, educated brands and marketers of the untapped potential of the programmatic platform and collected and used data to improve the customer-brand connection. AcuityAds has been recognized by Deloitte, ranking in the top ten of its Fast 50 program as well as being ranked in its Technology Fast 500 program in 2017.

AcuityAds is well positioned to continue to take advantage of growth opportunities. While programmatic advertising is still an underutilized and misunderstood platform, as awareness grows, so too will its market and impact. This requires the firm to remain predictive, flexible and forward thinking.

“Being customer-focused, customer-driven, the market is dynamic and changes every six months it seems, so staying on top of the marketplace and the needs of the customer will enable us to capture new market opportunities with our expanded value proposition,” said DiPasquale.

AcuityAds has invested heavily in expertise to make that a reality. Its advertising optimization specialists support clients throughout the campaign creation and management journey and thereby striving to improve the connectivity between brands and customers by offering high-quality and cost-effective advertising solutions that sustain growth long-term.

AcuityAds has what it takes to command the attention of the customer and deliver exactly what they need or want via relevant, targeted digital marketing.



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